(Didaskaleinophobia) is itself a symptom of anxiety disorder in childhood. It is also known as separation anxiety, which is an inappropriate fear of leaving their parents, a person or place of trust or home for example.
It's more common than you would think, and it's very curable.
Most children find going to school exciting and enjoyable although of course nearly all children have times when they don't want to go. This happens commonly at ages where children are faced with tougher school activities or exams or may have fallen out with friends. All of this is a normal part of growing up.
Children who develop school phobia, however, become terrified, trying every avoidance tactic in order to stay away from school. Parents should be aware if their child regularly say that they are too sick to go to school, they could be doing so in order to avoid anxious feelings.
School phobia can present itself in a number of ways:
- Constant thoughts and fears about safety of self and parents
- Refusing to go to school
- Frequent stomach aches and other physical complaints
- Extreme worries about sleeping away from home
- Overly clingy
- Panic or tantrums at times of separation from parents
- Feeling unsafe staying in a room by themselves
- Clinging behavior
- Displaying excessive worry and fear about parents or about harm to themselves
- Shadowing the mother or father around the house
- Difficulty going to sleep
- Having nightmares
- Exaggerated, unrealistic fears of animals, monster, burglars
- Fear of being alone in the dark
- Severe tantrums when forced to go to school